In a major incident that has shaken the Chilean authorities, ten armed men stole copper-filled shipping containers from Codelco on the morning of January 11.
The attackers took 12 copper-carrying containers and one other container with them after attacking the ship’s workers, who were beaten, and left tied and locked up. Four workers and one guard were assaulted in the San Antonio port incident.
The Chilean authorities were alerted by the workers once they could free themselves. So far, the Catalan authorities haven’t identified the suspects and are still investigating the matter.
Local media highlighted that the stolen copper plates had an estimated worth of $4.4 million which were on their way to being insured and exported.
This is the largest copper heist in the area since the government tightened the security of copper trade transport in October in the wake of such thefts in copper-carrying trains.
Being the largest copper producer in the world, Chilean mining companies are always jittery about the security situation as copper theft gangs are plenty in number.
However, authorities have attributed Wednesday’s heist to local groups, San Antonio-based gangs in particular and not international criminal groups who indulge in copper-carrying train heists as it was well executed using multiple trucks.
The robbers divided the work amongst themselves, with one group cutting off the security cameras and another tackling the guards.
References: Reuters, India Today